·        Urge Owerri, Okigwe zones to be patient till 2028

As the intrigues, manipulations, alignments and realignments for the 2023 elections are gathering momentum, Imo state Governor, Hope Uzodinma’s men and foot soldiers under the auspices of Imo Leaders Forum have already started flying a kite for  Uzodinma’s second tenure by calling on Owerri and  Okigwe zones  to be patient  till 2028.

The group in a release issued after  their meeting at the Boardroom of Concorde Hotel, Owerri on Friday, November 19, 2021, also tactfully made  insinuations aimed at  stopping ex-governor Ihedioha or any person  from Owerri and Okigwe  zones from contesting Imo state governorship election in 2023. 

The release which was signed by Prince Charles Amadi (Charvon) and Barr Kingsley Ononoju as National President and National Secretary of Owerri Zone Political Leaders Forum respectively, Rt Hon Matthew Omegara, National President, Okigwe Political Assembly and Chief Sam Osuji, National Secretary, Okigwe Political Assembly, (OPA) (OZOPOLF).

While, Barr Rex Anunobi (Sokom) and Chief Kingsley Ufere (Ikenga Izuogu) signed for Orlu Political Consultative  Assembly (OPOCA).

The aforementioned in the release captioned, “A text of joint press conference of Imo Traditional Leaders and political stakeholders of the three senatorial zones represented by Orlu Political Consultative Assembly (OPOCA). Owerri Zone Political Leaders Forum (OZOPOLF) and Okigwe Political Assembly (OPA) holding today being Friday 19th November 2021 at the Boardroom Concorde Hotel Owerri, Imo State said, “we gladly welcome all of you to this joint press conference of the apex political croups, namely the Orlu Political Consultative Assembly (OPOCA) the political leaders and stakeholders of Orlu Senatorial zone, the Owerri Zone Political Leaders Forum (OZOPOLF), the Okigwe Political Assembly (OPA) who represent and speak for the political leaders and stakeholders, of Orlu. Owerri and Okigwe zones respectively and the leadership of lmo Traditional Institution and Town Unions also in the three senatorial zones.”

“The group also took a swipe at ex-governor Emeka Ihedioha and organizers of the recently held Egbu Declaration for turning the event into a political campaign rally where subversive, inciting and derogatory statements aimed at heating up the polity and fanning the embers of disunity, rancor and acrimony were made to the chargin of discerning Imolites.

The release posited that, “you will recall that Chief Emeka Ihedioha and his campaign organization masquerading as Owerri zone had last weekend attempted to overheat the polity and possibly instigate a political tension capable of causing a security breach in the State hiding under what they called “Egbu Declaration”.

“The gathering to the chargin of Imolites distastefully turned to an event upon which Chief Emeka Ihedioha campaigned and declared to run for the 2023’24 governorship, “Imo State Ihedioha during the said event, ridiculously boasted that he will become governor because “the present administration has already done the campaigns for him”.

“Shortly’ after the  “Egbu Declaration”. Ihedioha through his Party apparently declaring war against the State, her peace-loving people and the Governor of Imo State issued a counter-warning to Imolites and Nigerians who intend to return home or visit the State during the Yuletide to drop such idea to avoid being “slaughtered like chicken. This unfortunate statement is undisputedly a counter directive on Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodinma assured and guaranteed safety he made earlier to Imolites returning home during the Yuletide.

That we condemn the ill-timed governorship campaign declaration of Ihedioha which is evidential of the calculated but failed strategy to distract the Governor who is constitutionally entitled to a second term in office if he decides to contest in 2023/24.

“That the issue of ‘Equity’ which has selfishly become Ihedioha’s campaign tool for 2023/24 governorship is neither centred on individual nor Ihedioha as a person but on the people In view of the above and considering that the incumbent Governor. Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma is constitutionally entitled to a second term in office vis-a-via his monumental achievements, it is hereby resolved that Equity and Zoning of Governorship of Imo State shall going forward begin with the incumbent and Orlu zone.

“The implication is that the governorship position shall rotate to Owerri and Okigwe zones in 2028 when the incumbent must have exhausted his constitutional second tenure. To guarantee the effectiveness and practicability of this political arrangement and understanding, the other two zones are advised not to field candidate(s) or contest against the zone upon which the Governorship is domiciled. The  bottom line of this resolution is that Owerri and Okigwe zones will not field Governorship candidates in any of the competing political parties until 2028.

“That we commend our Shared Prosperity Governor on his well-thought-out developmental initiatives and people-oriented programmes and policies as encapsulated in his 3R Agenda. We make bold to say that the  present government has sufficiently and in different forms impacted positively on the lives of many Imo youths and women. While also appreciating the ongoing infrastructural revolution especially in the areas of road construction and modernization of Owerri Capital City, we on the other hand, appeal to the good people of “Imo State to be patient as government mobilizes contractors back to sites on those critical but strategic roads in Owerri capital city and other areas in the State now that the rains have abated”.